This past weekend, the college closed its campus climate survey which it had crafted with focus groups of community members and an outside firm, Demographic Perspectives. As of deadline Wednesday, a participation rate had not yet been tallied and it was too soon to know any results or data from the survey answers, but in the coming months the college will be analyzing the results, Vice President of Campus Life and Dean of Students Annette Diorio said.
The steering committee behind the initiative, including Diorio, Dean of Equity and Inclusion Chris Hunt, Associate Vice President for Human Resources Alma Scott-Buczak and Dean of Faculty Robin Rinehart, will continue to meet, Diorio said. Any particular action resulting from the survey, she added, will probably be doled out to already existing committees on campus.
“Some things work their way through faculty committees, [for example]. If there were something in the curriculum that [people] wanted to change, then a faculty committee could handle it,” she said. Students will also have a voice in discussing the results through forums such as student government, she added.
She said that the ultimate goal of using the climate survey results is to “make everyone in the community feel included,” such as through initiatives like the use of preferred names on IDs. President Alison Byerly announced in an email that preferred names on IDs would be permitted effective immediately, with no fees for obtaining a new ID, and she provided a link in her email where students can request the change.
The survey was open to students, faculty and staff and posed questions related to discrimination, places where one feels uncomfortable on campus, sexual conduct and other issues meant to gauge a broad campus experience at Lafayette. Diorio said that participation rates are usually higher among faculty and staff, but she hopes that many students took the time to fill it out.
President Byerly said in an interview that her cabinet is in talks about how the results will be taken in.
“We’ve had some preliminary discussion about how we might process the survey results. They’ll become available later in the summer. We’ll have a chance to look at them, and we’ll certainly want to share them with some relevant committees in the fall. Whether we will have some sort of a formal presentation on that and how that will be digested we’ve yet [to] determine,” Byerly said.